Are Mormons Christian? : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

What is the definition of a Christian and are Mormons Christian?

-- Chris Fox (, January 06, 2001



Actually, while Mormons openly state that they are Christians, they are NOT. Being a Christian means being a disciple of Jesus Christ and accepting the Truth that Jesus taught. Mormons do not hold to the fundamental, orthodox Christian beliefs that ALL Christian denominations maintain.

Number one in my mind is that they deny that Jesus is God, fully One with the Father and Holy Spirit. Instead, they teach that Jesus is just one of many gods, who was created by the Father along with his equal "brother" Lucifer.

Here's a brief article that I located that touches on a few other reasons why they cannot be considered Christians. I hope that helps.

************************ The Basics Of Mormonism The saga of Mormonism began in 1820, when a young man named Joseph Smith, Jr., purportedly experienced a spectacular vision. Two celestial personages appeared to him, claiming all existing churches were wrong, all their creeds were an abomination, and all their professors were corrupt.1 These beings made it clear to Joseph that he had been chosen to restore, rather than reform a church that had disappeared from the face of the earth.

In 1823 the angel Moroni was said to have visited young Joseph and divulged the location of gold plates containing the “fullness of the everlasting gospel.” These plates — abridged by Moroni and his father, Mormon,2 fourteen hundred years earlier — were written in “reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics.” Smith supposedly found, buried along with the plates, a pair of magical eyeglasses3 that he used to translate the cryptic writing into English. The result was a new revelation called the Book of Mormon4 and a new religion called Mormonism.

Organizationally, Mormonism began when John the Baptist allegedly ordained Smith and Oliver Cowdery (a schoolteacher who assisted Smith by transcribing the inscriptions on the gold plates) to the Aaronic priesthood. Subsequent to the appearance of John the Baptist, the apostles Peter, James, and John were said to have conferred the Melchizedek priesthood and apostleship on Smith and Cowdery, giving them the authority to act on behalf of Jesus Christ in this last dispensation.5 On April 6, 1830, the Mormon church was officially launched.

Revelations in Mormonism are not relegated to personal appearances by angels like Moroni6 or apostles like Peter. However, the Mormon church claims three volumes of Scripture, or “standard works,” in addition to the Bible. The foremost of these revelations is the Book of Mormon, purportedly “the record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas” which “contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel.”7 Mormons believe the prophet Ezekiel was talking about the Book of Mormon when he alluded to the stick of Joseph (Ezek. 37:16ff).8

How millions can take the Book of Mormon seriously is almost beyond comprehension. While Smith referred to it as “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion,”9 its flaws run the gamut from the serious to the silly. In the category of serious we find that Ether 3:14 (“Behold, I am Jesus Christ, I am the Father and the Son”) is modalistic and militates against Trinitarian theology, while Alma 11:44 (“Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God”) is basi­cally consistent with the biblical doc­trine of the Trinity.

In the category of silly is the account in Alma 44 of a man who becomes irate after being scalped and stirs up his soldiers to fight “more powerfully.” And in Ether 15 we read of a man who struggles to catch his breath after having his head cut off. The Book of Mormon has now been altered over 4,000 times to compensate for Smith’s poor command of English, as well as for the numerous errors and inconsistencies it presented.

Doctrine and Covenants — a compilation of alleged divine revelations given to the Mormon church — is equally problematic. Among the far- fetched revelations it has foisted on humanity is the doctrine of polygamy. It was not until the Mormons were threatened with exile that their president, Wilford Woodruff, received a revelation relegating polygamy to the afterlife.

The third extra-biblical revelation in the Mormon Canon — namely, the Pearl of Great Price — is no less troubling. It was used for years by Mormons to prevent African-Americans from entering their priesthood and consequently from being exalted to godhood in the system’s celestial kingdom. Mormon prophet Brigham Young went so far as to declare that the reason “Negroes” have a “flat nose and black skin” is because God had put a curse on them.10 While these and other aberrations pose a serious threat to Mormon credibility, it is the organization’s deviations from essential Christian doctrine which ultimately define it as a non-Christian cult. Major Mormon theological travesties begin with the denial of Christ’s deity. In fact, Christ, according to Mormon theology, has the dubious distinction of being Lucifer’s spirit brother. In addition, Mormonism denies:

· the doctrine of original sin, teaching instead that men and women are, in reality, gods in embryo;

· Christ’s preservation of His church, teaching instead that the true church vanished from the earth after the death of the apostles, and that Joseph Smith had to restore it with his “latter-day saints;”

· the Trinity, affirming instead that God the Father and Jesus have bodies of “flesh and bone,” that the Holy Spirit is “a personage of Spirit,”11 and that the Trinity is pagan in origin;

· the inerrancy of Scripture, teaching instead that the Bible can be trusted only as far it is translated correctly;”12

· Christ was begotten by the Holy Ghost in His incarnation, teaching instead that God the Father sex with Mary,13 “instead letting any other man do it;”14

· the immutability of God, affirming instead that God was “perhaps once child, and mortal like we ourselves:’’15

· the biblical concept of hell, teaching that all can be rescued, except for “sons of perdition” — those who, like the author of this volume, are apostate Mormons.

Oath-taking is yet another problem with Mormonism. Temple Mormons, for example, once swore never to reveal their secret rituals on penalty that our throats be cut from ear to ear and our tongues torn out by their roots.” Although this and other violent oaths were altered during the first half of the twentieth century, and removed from the ritual just recently, they are an enduring reminder of the ferocious secrecy in which Mormon temple rituals are shrouded.

The “new and everlasting covenant” of plural marriage is perhaps the best example of Mormon equivocation. In 1890, under threat of exile to Mexico, Mormons officially abolished polygamy in the earthly realm. However, in secret temple ceremonies, Mormon males continue to be sealed to multiple wives — in the heavenly realm.16 Thus, the earthly practice of polygamy, publicly promoted by Brigham Young (who personally had 27 wives and 52 children), is now promised to those who attain the highest level of the celestial kingdom. Like their Heavenly Father, Mormon males may hope to one day, too, rule their own personal planets and enjoy endless, celestial sex with multiple goddess wives.

Even this cursory overview of Mormon history and theology should make it abundantly clear that while Mormons use Christian terminology, both the roots and fruits of their religion are decidedly unbiblical. It is crucial that Christians learn to scale the Mormon language barrier. It is my prayer that, in the process, you will become so familiar with the truth that when counterfeits loom on the horizon you will be able to recognize them instantaneously.

-- David Bowerman (, January 06, 2001.


Christian? A follower of Christ!

Are Mormons Christian? Go ask a Mormon! This is a Catholic chat group! I don't think many here are qualified to answer questions concerning the Mormon faith.


-- Ed Lauzon (, January 06, 2001.

I may be wrong, but I think they (Mormons) can be considered a heretical sect of Christianity; much as the Moslem is a heretical Hebrew. The basic belief has been corrupted by their adhering to heretical teachings. --Whereas, Protestants may or may not be heretical; depending on how orthodox their adherence to the Gospel. Protestants can be called Catholic by reason of Baptism, yet in schism on account of a variety of dissensions from Catholic teaching. I think this is a correct assessment; not stating it as the approved teachings of the Church.

-- eugene c. chavez (, January 06, 2001.


A good discussion of Mormonism can be found in James White's book: Is the Mormon My Brother, written by a Reformed Baptist. There is an interesting discussion between a Mormon and an Evangelical in the book, How Wide the Divide?

-- Steve Jackson (, January 07, 2001.


I want to thank you for the detailed information on Mormonism. I knew that they aren't Christians, but I didn't know any of the rest of their STUFF.

All Christians should take this very seriously and be in prayer for these people.I heard a report ,not long ago, that this is the fastest growing religion.

Thanks David.

-- SSM (follower of Christ) (, January 07, 2001.

It might interest you to know that Catholics are not considered Christians by most Bible based Christian churches.

-- Southern Baptist (, January 08, 2001.

Rather than looking at obviously biased sources for information, perhaps you might look at this page:,5030,2,00.html

-- Southern Baptist (, January 08, 2001.

Actually Mr/Ms Southern Baptist, you're completely wrong.

Only those "Christians" who are so full of their own arrogance and rhetoric don't consider Catholics to be Christian (ala Bob Jones University!!). While there are many significant differences in theology and worship practices between Catholics and other Christian denominations, most consider each other to be Christian.

I say that as someone who worships in a Pentecostal/Charismatic church, who has many friends of various denominations (including Southern Baptists and Catholics), and who has done some basic research into the subject.

Please stop trying to speak for the majority of Christians who find your attitude ignorant, offensive, and spiritually immature. In other words, grow up into Christ and grasp the meaning of Grace sir/madam!!

-- David Bowerman (, January 08, 2001.

On second thought, I think I smell a rat. I checked up on our "Southern Baptist" visitor's link and find it is the Mormon's home page. There is not a single Southern Baptist I've ever known or heard of who would consider Mormons anything but a cult. So why would one purport to defend them by submitting their spin. I believe this Southern Baptist is really a Mormon flying under false colors.

-- David Bowerman (, January 08, 2001.

I was simply posting that comment to make a point that Catholics were saying that Mormons aren't Christian, yet, ironically, many Christians don't think Catholics are Christians. Sort of the old pot calling the kettle black situation it seems to me.

I have many Catholic, Baptist and LDS (Mormon) friends and consider them all Christians.

I do find your rather un-Christian comments about the Mormons above offensive and full of half truths and error.

In particular, this comment of yours simply does not have merit: Mormons do not hold to the fundamental, orthodox Christian beliefs that ALL Christian denominations maintain.

No two "orthodox" Christian churchs can agree even on a handful of beliefs. Take that even further, I don't think you could find two priests in the Catholic church, or two Baptist ministers that would totally agree on more than one or two doctrines in their OWN church!

-- Southern Baptist (, January 08, 2001.

I was referring to universally accepted Truths such as those that are contained in the Apostles Creed -- ALL Christian denominations do indeed hold those in common. I was not implying agreement among all beliefs, just the important ones . . . the ones that make us Christian. And any body of people who claim to be Christian needs to embrace them in order to be included. The Mormons do not, therefore they cannot be included.

Mormons do not believe that Jesus is One with the Father and the Holy Spirit. They do not believe in the theological concept of the Trinity. They therefore are NOT Christians. You can take all the offense you want from it, the Truth stands. If you can refute anything said in a specific manner, please do. You mentioned half- truths and errors, please specify. But be careful. The Mormons are master at saying one thing using a Christian term and semantically believing in another. While you're at it, why don't you take a shot at defending their belief in their version of heaven, hell and polygamy. Since they so clearly oppose the New Testament teachings of the Church, this ought to prove interesting.

Oh and make sure to use only a non-Mormon version of the New Testament in your argument or it will have no validity. No Mormon NT translation. No Book of Mormon. They have no validity what-so-ever.

I realize I'm being rather harsh here, but I do not want anyone reading this to get the wrong idea. There should be nothing wishy- washy in our approach to Mormonism. They have embraced a lie of the devil that was first planted by an evil spirit calling itself Moroni. That is not a path to salvation.

-- David Bowerman (, January 08, 2001.

Dear Famous Spuds,
You are partly right, almost all Protestant denominations have differences. One of the few things agreed to by them is they won't go Catholic. You state outright most Bible based So Bapt. don't consider us Christians.
Who founded most ''Bible-based So. Bapt. churches? Billy Graham? Billy Sunday?

You can't even answer that simple question. >>> Furthermore, you're wrong in saying all Catholics do not agree on all articles of their faith. We agree in everything our Church teaches us.

The 'Bible' you base a Southern Baptist faith upon is not biblically endorsed on any single page of the New Testament. The canon to an approved Holy Bible is not found in any text within its own pages. Therefore, a Church established by the Holy Apostles had to determine which books were inspired by God and which were not. That was the Catholic Church! Without the Catholic Church, you wouldn't know what the Bible is; much less its proper interpretation.

1.) The So. Bapt. Church is Bible based.
2.)Nothing inside the New Testament shows us which books are inspired.
3.) The Bible is a selection, a Catholic list of Books inspired by God.
4.) Southern Baptists mostly don't consider Catholics Christians.

Therefore: Southern Baptists want to base their faith on a Bible which the Roman Catholic Church certified as the inspired Word of God. Keep the Book, throw away the Church and the Tradition, base your faith on the Book only. Why don't Southern Baptists get rid of the holy Apostles too, they have the Book. Southern Baptists can reach God directly through the Book; apostles are just men, anyway! If you don't believe the Catholic Church originated the Canon of the books of the Holy Bible, and gave the Bible to all Christians, pray tell us: Who did? All Bibles in existence before the invention of the printing press (Gutenberg, 1439) were hand-copied from originals by Catholic monks and priests. Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing-press was a Catholic himself! I pray God may someday open your eyes to the True Faith, Spuds. It ain't out of the Bible Belt! Ha ha!

-- eugene c. chavez (, January 08, 2001.

Hi Everyone!

This thread is coming unraveled (pardon the pun, I couldn't resist). Let's see, we've had Catholics, we've had Pentecostals, we've had Mormons, we've had Southern Baptists, I think we've even had an atheist or two, and Lord knows who else all trying to espouse the virtues of the Mormon faith within the confines of a Catholic chat group. Is this Ecumenism or what? As I said earlier, why don't we all go and ask the Mormons what they believe? Why are we so convinced that we know more about the Mormon faith than Mormons themselves? Very puzzling! I must have missed something here!

(PS. David: I believe there are some faiths who believe in Christ and therefore consider themselves Christians yet do not believe in the Trinity (Trinitarian). Whoops! I just did it myself! There I go talking about some other faith. Sorry!)


-- Ed Lauzon (, January 08, 2001.

How can JW's or Mormons be Christians when they deny the deity of Christ? Therein lies the answer to your question.

-- Shane Scott (, January 12, 2001.

I'm a Mormon.

Mormons are Christians depending on your definition of Christianity.

While we don't believe in the Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity we do believe that Jesus Christ is Divine. We strive to follow his teachings in our daily lives and we honor him in our hearts and minds. I would say that makes us Christians.

Apparently some rather high-minded individuals in other churches around the world seem to think they hold the monopoly on the definition of Christianity. Catholics think they're right, Baptists think they're right and Mormons think they're right. If we didn't believe that way then such debates would be useless. We all have a position and an opinion that we are trying to help others understand and embrace.

My Christianity may be different than yours but it is no less valid. You should really sit down and chat with representatives from the LDS church and find out why it is the fastest growing church in the world.

-- Joel Hinckley (, January 12, 2001.

Dear Joel,
Welcome to this page. I've known several Mormons here in California, and they are fine people. They work hard, they seem upstanding and they are good citizens. Almost all take a great pride in their faith. To them it's a badge of great accomplishment in the spiritual life.

By the same token, many Catholics I know are scandals to their own faith. They curse, and drink too much. They blaspheme and care overly about money. But, Joel, the pertinent thing here is they are in the True Church of Christ and the Holy Apostles. They are not faithful perhaps, to the teachings of the Church, but they do not belong to a false church. It makes a difference in the long run. Because they have available to them the source of grace which is Christ's eternal presence in the Church. They can always return to the truth, the way, and the life.

The Church of Latter-Day Saints is a recently establised Russelite sect of protestant origin, with no connection whatsoever to the Apostles or Christ Himself. Whatever grace is to be had to Mormons is gratuitous from Him alone, and not out of a membership in a church. It's the same as if you-- Joel, belonged to the Elk's Lodge, or Lion's Club. These have some useful and commendable activities that reflect honorably on them. But as churches, they can only be false. The same is true in the LDS church. I'm sorry to say it so bluntly. Your feelings are not unimportant, but the truth must be said. You've wandered into a Catholic site. You must be prepared for a rebuttal. Anything less would be dishonest and counter-productive, coming from here. You can contribute if you like. But the church you are a part of is anti-Catholic to start with, and a false church or religion at worst. You still are entitled to the common courtesy given a guest. I do not mean to strike you to the heart. I know you probably love your church, but it is represented to you as something it isn't. May God bless you and give you grace and light to see the truth for yourself someday.

-- eugene c. chavez (, January 12, 2001.

An interesting site pertaining to matters being discussed here is

-- Jon Jukka (, January 12, 2001.

I'd be more than happy to continue any discussion over email, but I don't plan on adding a bookmark to this site any time soon.

While it's clear that the Catholic Church views the Mormon Church as false, it is equally clear that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints view the Catholic Church as false. Additionally all protestant sects must be false for both Catholics and Mormons alike while they in turn must view Mormons and Cahtolics as false.

I have many reasons for disbelieving the claims of the Catholic church. My reasons are founded in Scripture. However, what is most disturbing about Catholicism, is that it lacks the Spiritual nourishment to draw people unto it. As you stated in your rebuttal. You've met many a good Mormon and many a bad Catholic. This is not to say that all Mormons are good or that all Catholics are bad. But Latter-day Saints tend to hold more faithfully to the teachings and practices of their church than do Catholics.

It is sad that a Church as large and respected as the Catholic Church is failing to nourish its people. Were there nourishment to be found the people would not forsake their faith.

-- Joel Hinckley (, January 12, 2001.


You made a statement a little ways back, to "Spuds". You said,"you're wrong in saying all Catholics do not agree on all articles of their faith. We agree in everything our church teaches us." Of my Catholic friends and relatives, none of them believe the same thing. Lets start with relatives, one believes that God loves everyone and on judgement day everyone will go to heaven.He doesn't believe that demons exist.He doesn't believe that Jesus is the Savior.Another thinks he was born gay and that the Bible is not true, it's just a story someone made up. One thinks Jesus was just a great guy .I could go on all day, they all call themselves Catholic. What's my point? It is that the important thing is what we believe about Jesus.PERIOD. When a baby is baptized, does he/she make the decision to ask Jesus to be the Lord of his/her life? When children are confirmed, they do it because all their classmates are doing it. How many really take it seriously? I didn't understand what it means to be BORN AGAIN until I personally made the decision that I wanted Jesus to be the Lord of my life. I asked Him to come into my heart and make me less like me and more like Him. Now my eyes are opened, the veil has been lifted. Jesus takes a heart of self and makes it into a heart of love for others.

Eugene, it is true that YOU believe everything the Catholic church teaches.I find you to be a True Believer.I admire your passion. I am praying and waiting for you to ask Jesus to make you more like HIM.

Who is this responding to Joel??..... Eugene, is that really you??

Love, through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,


-- SSM (non-catholic follower of Jesus Christ) (, January 12, 2001.

Joel isn't going to see this, I guess, he has no bookmark here. But he's upset; I can tell. OK, Joel, the Latter Day Saints keep the faith better than Catholics. Dear me, my Dad and my grandparents, Catholics all, passed on without ever receiving spiritual nourishment outside the Catholic Church. In that undernourished state, how can they hope ever go to heaven? Drat you, Catholicism; you let them down. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and Joel, they are all saints, and didn't have to wait for the Last Judgment, even! The fastest-growing church in the world, Hm? Oh, well.

They collect 10% off the top of every saint's income. It makes sense! I'm feeling so under-nourished, I think I'll go make myself a taco. Lol!

-- eugene c. chavez (, January 12, 2001.

Amen Susan, you have spoken the truth by way of the Holy Spirit that dwells in you. Let us all not forget Ephesians 2:8.

-- Jon Jukka (, January 12, 2001.


If you are still around, I'd like your take on something.

I've been in a discussion with a Mormon co-worker who says that in their religion, God is not *necessarily* the only God, although he is OUR God. Who we call God may have at one time a man who ascended to be god of our universe and now we are his children. Our "god" may in fact have a "god" of his own! A good Mormon today can at the end of this universe ascend to be a God himself of his own universe with his spirit-children peopling it.

Would you call this accurate? If so, while you may regard yourself as Christian, I don't think *any* other Christian faith would agree with you.

Also, do you believe that both God and Jesus have wives? That too would end up with your religion having a major difference with all other Christians.

There are others, but I want to see if there's a response to these first.


P.S. the trouble one has discussing things with a Mormon is that at first you *think* you are discussing the same thing, as you are both using the same words, but the Mormon definitions for what those words actually MEAN (even something like "God") is *radically* different from what any other Christian denomination uses.

-- Someone (, January 12, 2001.

I have an answer to SSM and Jon Jukka, Susan?
I've said that Catholics are united in the faith. We believe what our holy mother Church teaches, and are in the faith together.

But our friend SSmagistro>? gives a different picture of the Catholic faith. Her friends and family are at odds about the Catholic faith. One does not accept Christ as Saviour, another is gay and thinks the bible is false and, above all this, she alone is aware that being BORN AGAIN is the only important thing about this life.

This is meant to reflect badly on the Catholic faith. Catholics don't understand a thing about ''being like HIM,'' Our Lord. She knows it because the veil was lifted from her eyes. Of course, the Church never lifted the veil from anyone's eyes.It covered the globe, taking the Holy Gospel to lands where nothing existed except fear and ignorance. Itestablished an Oxford and Cambridge and Sorbonne and Salamanca and numerous other centers of Catholic and Liberal Arts Universities. It supplied hundreds of martyrs to the Christian faith; not just in Roman arenas, but in countries given to cannibalism and human sacrifice. It made saints-- Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena, Augustine of Hippo, Francis Xavier and Ignatius of Loyola. They evangelized the Orient for the first time; laying down their lives. They did not depend on money, or propaganda. They went for Jesus; they did it all for Jesus Christ.

They continue, as Mother Teresa of Calcutta did it. For the Church of Jesus, and for His great glory. But, here we have SSM and Jon and an assortment of Protestants to tell us: ''Works and labor and love can't earn you a place in heaven. You only need belief in Jesus as Lord.'' Here we have Christians that can reach perfection without imitating Christ at all. After all, imitation of Christ, the evangelical virtues-- these are only works. ''Works cannot earn anyone salvation.''

-- eugene c. chavez (, January 12, 2001.

Eugene, you have struck gold ''Works and labor and love can't earn you a place in heaven. You only need belief in Jesus as Lord.''. Please read Ephesians 2:8-9. If one could get to heaven by good works then the obvious question is why did Jesus have to die for us on the cross if there was any other way? Incidentally missionaries are not particular to catholicicsm not by any stretch of the human imangination.

We won't of course mention (but I will anyway) the thousands upon thousands of Christians murdered by catholics during the reformation. Please Mr Chavez try and be somewhat less critical of other people's point of view.

-- Jon Jukka (, January 13, 2001.

Dear Jon, You are the one that struck it rich, and if Satan had offered you 'salvation' with no effort at all, wouldn't you have jumped at the chance? It costs nothing, after all.Jesus Christ expects His followers to believe in Him, yes. All Catholics certainly believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, from the Pope down to the most imperfect sinner.(ME)

Our good works such as they are, are undertaken not for salvation, Jon; but for love of Jesus Christ, and the good of all our brethren. Because Jesus said, ''Do it for the least of mine and you do it for me.''

I'm sure you would give your best in good works and charity, for Jesus' sake. Not for your salvation, but to give Him glory and honor. Nevertheless, faith without works is dead. (James 3, 17-19)

-- eugene c. chavez (, January 13, 2001.


How is it you know of ''thousands upon thousands'' of Christians murdered by Catholics during the ''reformation''? You are now calling Catholics murderers, too?

Did the apostle Peter, or John the Evangelist, the Christian martyrs in the catacombs under Rome, etc., go about murdering thousands and thousands? All were Catholics. Your own ancestors from 1500 A.D. on backward were Catholics. I'm sure there have been Catholics in past history who are guilty of murder.

But the Church murdered no one. There is the truth; face it, Jon.

-- eugene c. chavez (, January 13, 2001.


How is it you know of ''thousands upon thousands'' of Christians murdered by Catholics during the ''reformation''? Well it simply a fact of history, of course the protestants have blood on their hands too. We are all sinners including the pope and of course Mary was a sinner too, obviously.

-- Jon Jukka (, January 13, 2001.

Jon, --No doubt there are enough Catholics down through history guilty of murder. ''Reformation'' or no reformation. But the Catholic Church is not responsible for murders. Many bishops and clergymen were involved in national causes, participating out of their sphere which is religion. For this they are rightly condemned. They didn't act for the Catholic Church in that capacity, contrary to what Protestants claim.

-- eugene c. chavez (, January 13, 2001.

--The Blessed Virgin Mary was and is without sin. Period, Jon /

Can somebody who knows html correct this italic font for us? --Thanks!

-- eugene c. chavez (, January 13, 2001.

Eugene, "The Blessed Virgin Mary was and is without sin. Period". What blasphemy. There has only been one person that could claim that and that was Jesus Christ. If Mary was without sin then obviously she could of died on the cross for us instead of Jesus. If Mary had been free of sin then the Bible would no doubt of said so.

Please don't give adoration to Mary that belongs to Christ. She was a Jewish teenage girl that chosen by God (and blessed among women for that)to carry our Lord and Savior. She was human and therefore a sinner like the rest of mankind.

-- Jon Jukka (, January 13, 2001.

Jon, You are a very ignorant boy. ''Obviously.''

-- eugene c. chavez (, January 13, 2001.

And you Eugene, are a very petty and small minded man. You certainly don't represent your church in a good light.

-- Jon Jukka (, January 13, 2001.


Hello, Jon. [Jukka. Interesting name. Finnish?]

It seems that you have gotten yourself started down a wrong path. I could be wrong, but I don't remember seeing your name here before. And so, I would have to say that, as a guest at a CATHOLIC forum, the following is not a good way to make your debut:
1. Saying, "An interesting site pertaining to matters being discussed here is" [That site is an incrediby disgusting anti-Catholic hell-hole.]
2. Saying, "... of course Mary was a sinner too, obviously." [It is not obvious, because you did not know her and the Bible does not say that she sinned. (Don't bother to quote the verse that "all have sinned," which is not to be taken literally, since there are several exceptions [Jesus, infants, the profoundly retarded, etc.].)
3. Saying, "You, Eugene, ... a very petty and small minded man ... certainly don't represent your church in a good light." [But you, Jon, have thus far represented bigotry quite well.]

Jon, please don't show yourself to be "very petty" by quoting the Bible to us (Eph 2:8 and otherwise), since Catholic apostles and disciples wrote the New Testament, Catholic bishops decided which 27 separate literary works would compose it, Catholic monks lovingly hand-copied it for 1,400 years, a Catholic (Gutenberg) first printed it, and Catholics (lay and clergy) have cherished it for its 2,000-year existence. There is more of the Bible quoted in each Catholic Mass than in any protestant service.

And finally, Jon, please don't show yourself to be "small-minded" by means of exaggeration and impudence. In stating that there were "thousands upon thousands of Christians murdered by catholics during the reformation," you have made multiple errors:
(a) your number of victims is hyperbolic [inflated],
(b) you falsely imply that Catholics are not Christians, not even having the courtesy to use an upper-case "C" in Catholics, and
(c) you wrongly refer to the human founding of brand-new ecclesial communities, beginning about 480 years ago, as a "reformation."

So, Jon, please find another place to sow your bad seed -- or make a fresh start here, but this time with genuine respect and a search for the fullness of the Christian truth that is found only in the Catholic Church.

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, January 13, 2001.

italics off, please!

-- (, January 13, 2001.


You are outdoing yourself this time . You haven't been this rude to me since way back in August 2000. I am not going out of my way to make the catholic religion look bad. It is part of my mission to ask people who Jesus is to them. If they don't know the truth, then I share the Gospel with them. And you, as a believer, should be glad about that. I've asked Jews, and Islamics. I have not met any buddist, yet.

You said that my friends and family are at odds about the catholic religion.To be at odds, is to be in disagreement.They don't discuss this among themselves. I asked each of them individually "To you, who is Jesus?"

You said, "another is gay" he is not gay , but he has bought into the lie that Satan wants us to believe that gays are born gay. He is a handsome, caring young man, whom I love with all my heart and it's hurting me so much to see him living this lie.

I did not say that I, alone am aware that being BORN AGAIN is the only important thing in life. Good works are very important, they are the outward evidence of Jesus presence in the heart.... but as Jon pointed out in Ephesians 2:8-9 It is by GRACE you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.

Because of what Christ did,all who heard the Good News about how to be saved, and trusted Christ, were marked as belonging to Christ by the Holy Spirit, who long ago had been promised to all of us Christians. His presence within us is God's guarantee that He really will give us all that He promised; and the Spirits seal upon us means that God has already purchased us and that He guarantees to bring us to Himself.

" Works cannot earn anyone Salvation".

-- SSM (non-catholic follower of Jesus Christ) (, January 13, 2001.

John, Yes my name is Finnish. First of all, I would like to apologise to Eugene for my retaliatory remark. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Your reference to the Catholic church being the one true church I dispute. You are entitled to your beliefs on this as am I. There is no good reason for us to discuss that matter in any depth as there is screeds of information for and against such a view available on the net. There are no doubt thousands of Catholics who could make a very substantial case for their belief that they represent the one true church. Alternatively there are no doubt thousands of protestants who could also make a very substantial case against such a view. It all depends on what you wish to believe.

As far as the site is concerned I think it is very up front, truthful and to the point.

-- Jon Jukka (, January 13, 2001.


Hello, Joel.
It's interesting to have a Mormon visitor! I can understand that you would be quite uneasy sticking around here with us. I imagine you have instructions to work only in pairs, so that the stronger one can take the weaker one away when he is being shown to be mistaken? Or, if you have to work alone, you want it under your terms (one-on-one via e-mail)? Is it true that your leaders [like those of the Jehovah's Witnesses] believe that if you worked solo, your confidence/faith would be undermined upon meeting a group of fervent Catholic who can point out how Mormonism is man-made and teaches error?

You stated: "Mormons are Christians, depending on your definition of Christianity." But that does not help us any more than saying that "Hindus are Christians, depending on your definition of Christianity."

Joel, once there were no Christians. Then there came to be Christians -- namely, the first Catholics, in about 30 A.D.. That gives Catholics, not Mormons [whose founding father lived less than 200 years ago] nor any other group, the ability to define what a "Christian" is. As others have admirably shown on this thread, Mormons are not Christians -- though they sometimes perform Christian-like acts (as do many Buddhists, who are similarly non-Christian). Contrary to what you may think, Joel, the Catholic Church does consider most Protestants to be Christians, and the majority of Protestants consider Catholics to be Christians. I thank you profoundly, Frank, for your outstanding revelation concerning the Mormon belief about "god(s)."

Joel, I would really rather not "sit down and chat with representatives from the LDS church and find out why it is the fastest growing church in the world." "Fast growth" does not necessarily equate to "having the truth," which is all that really matters. (It has been widely shown, most convincingly by former Mormons, that there are errors in Mormon doctrine and that the Mormon creed is missing truths.) In fact, the "fast growth" of Mormonism can indicate various things:
(1) widespread acceptance because it is more comfortable to believe in a religion that is easier to live out than a person's former faith;
(2) acceptance out of curiosity about something new, different, and exotic;
(3) acceptance out of expectation for an easier life, with a sort of built-in social security system;
(4) acceptance out of being fooled that one can become a "god."
There is one good reason for growth in Mormonism: a generally pro-life attitude, mixed with early marriage, has led to large family size. Ironically, it is easier to believe in the genuineness of a religion (Catholicism) that struggles to grow, because it is one that teaches the hard truth -- the daily bearing of the cross.

Joel, I found your last message quite amazing. You really have no reason to believe the following things that you stated: "Catholicism ... lacks the Spiritual nourishment to draw people unto it. ... It is sad that a Church as large and respected as the Catholic Church is failing to nourish its people. Were there nourishment to be found, the people would not forsake their faith." The fact is that the Catholic Church has more "spiritual nourishment" to draw people into it than any other religion on earth. First and foremost, she has the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist -- the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus -- and the other six sacraments. (Mormonism has none of these, except perhaps Baptism.) Though all Christians have the Bible (and Mormons claim to make some use of it), the Catholic Church alone has the authority to "nourish" its people with an authoritative and inerrant interpretation of its contents. (This list of "nourishments" could go on and on, as our spiritual "diet" is tremendously varied.) It is not that the Catholic Church is lacking anything, but rather that some individual Catholics do not fulfill their mission to evangelize as well as they should. Yet, despite our failures as individuals, the Catholic Church (contrary to what you thought) is growing. About 15 years ago, the numbers of Catholics were a bit short of 900,000,000 -- but now the numbers are above 1,000,000,000. Catholics make up more than half of all Christians, and the only other religious group in the world with a billion adherents are the Moslems. (Some would say that Islam is growing more quickly than Mormonism, though there may be some coercion involved.)

In closing, let me recommend to you these sites:
1. A debate: Who holds the keys -- pope or prophet?
2. What you need to know about Mormons (by a man who has been both a Catholic priest and a Mormon)

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, January 13, 2001.


Susan, my dear lady, I'm so sorry.
I used to get angry with you for leaving the Church. But now I see that the fault may have been yours only slightly, if at all. On this single thread, I have seen evidence of two major factors that must have provided a terrible negative influence against your sticking with the Church. Both factors should never have existed. What am I talking about?

First, you wrote: "Of my Catholic friends and relatives, none of them believe the same thing. Lets start with relatives, one believes that God loves everyone and on judgement day everyone will go to heaven. He doesn't believe that demons exist. He doesn't believe that Jesus is the Savior. Another thinks he was born gay and that the Bible is not true, it's just a story someone made up. One thinks Jesus was just a great guy. I could go on all day, they all call themselves Catholic."
Susan, I think that you may deny the following theory of mine, but I will not believe your denial! I believe this: If you had grown up under a TRULY Catholic pastor, in a TRULY Catholic family, among TRULY Catholic friends, and with a TRULY Catholic spouse -- in an environment wherein there was true love of Christ and no dissent against Catholic doctrine -- you would never have left the Church. FAITHFUL, "orthodox" Catholics believe things that are so close to what you now believe that there would have been no reason or temptation for you to leave!!! But you found yourself surrounded by people who were Catholic "in name only" -- some who were out-and-out heretics and others who were seriously mixed-up dissenters. What a shame!

Second, you wrote: "Good works are very important ... but ... 'It is by GRACE that you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast.' ... Works cannot earn anyone Salvation."
What is terrible, Susan, is that someone seems to have fooled you into believing that Catholics disagree with these statements. But we BELIEVE them! By grace we are justified and saved. We cannot do it on our own. We don't buy/earn salvation. Through his "work" (passion/death/resurrection), Jesus has redeemed us. When a person who is of the "age of reason" does what St. Peter told the crowd (believes, repents, is baptized), she is made right (justified) with the Father. Then, still moved by grace (not by her own power, except the cooperation of her free will), she carries out works pleasing to God -- works that are not just "very important," but essential as evidences of a living faith (as St. James says).
I suppose that you and I still have at least a couple of areas of possible disagreement that need to be cleared up, but I hope that you will admit that you are surprised to find out how much you and genuine Catholics are in agreement. I know that you don't want to come "home" just now, but you really need to do it before it's too late. I realize that it will take a lot of guts and energy to be reconciled, clear up the marriage problems, etc., but these are things that Jesus is going to whisper to you to do until you take care of them. I know what I'm talking about, because I went something similar myself.
You were right in saying that "... the important thing is what we believe about Jesus -- PERIOD." But a VITAL thing that we need to do is to determine what is meant by "belief" in him. To "believe" is not just to hold a few facts firmly "about Jesus," but it is also to obey the one we love after we have determined his will.

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, January 13, 2001.


You forgot one: "Fast growth" is also obtained by having small numbers. A religion going (in a year) from 10 to 12 people adds ~20%/year, whereas one with ten million going to 11 million only adds ~10%/year. When using growth rate as your standard for correctness a Cult is probably the most "correct" religion, not Mormonism.



-- Someone (, January 15, 2001.


Very good point, Frank. Thanks.
I should modify one thing I wrote earlier. I stated that the CJCLDS [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints] had only one (potentially) valid sacrament -- Baptism.
But if two Mormons have been validly baptized (either previously, in a true Christian body, or later, in the CJCLDS), then it is possible that they could be validly and sacramentally married. I would have to leave that one to the marriage tribunal to decide, though.

-- J. F. Gecik (, January 15, 2001.


It's 1:00 AM and I should be sleeping, but I just finished reading Hebrews chapter 8. The writer is talking about how God gave us His 10 Commandments, and in our humaness, we just couldn't keep them, then He, God gave us the blood sacrifices to atone for our sins, but that didn't work either. And God said "I will make a new agreement with the people of Israel and the people of Judah. This agreement will not be like the old one I gave to their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt; they did not keep their part, so I had to cancel it. But I will make a new agreement with them. I will write my laws in their minds so that they will know what I want them to do without my even telling them, and these laws will be in their hearts so that they will want to obey them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people. And no one then will need to speak to his friend, or neighbor, or brother, saying , "You too should know the Lord" because everyone, great and small will already know Me. And I will be merciful to them in their wrong doings, and I will remember their sins not.

This is what happens when you are "born again". I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life, the Holy Spirit has given me a heart of love. I hate sin because of what Jesus had to suffer for me/us.

I was just like those friends and relatives that I told you about. I said the exact same things when someone tried to share the GOOD NEWS about Jesus with me.

The catholic church had good intentions when they set up their system of Baptism and Confirmation. But it doesn't mean anything if the person doesn't make that choice for themself.

I was enjoying my sinful, selfish life. Then my first-born son(C) became "born again". He tried to share about Jesus, but I told him," I'm Catholic and I will always be Catholic". I wouldn't listen. So he started praying for me, and had all of his friends pray for me.(C) and his friends did wonderful things( they went out on the streets, shared the Gospel and prayed for people, worked at the mission,went on Mission trips to Mexico, France, Spain, Costa Rica and much more) They, themselves were a testimony.

So God started pursuing me. It started with my Dad dying unexpectedly ( I knew he had a heart condition, but I thought we had maybe 5 more years). My dad was like a hero to me. But I couldn't get his attention.(there were 12 of us and I just wasn't one of his favorites) My marriage started falling apart. My other son(J) tells me he is gay. So I'm talking to my son(C) and his friends.I'm praying, but God is not answering my prayers. I just want to die. I ask my son(C)how to pray, he says," you need to ask Jesus to come into your heart and save you.Admit that you are a sinner. Ask Him to be the Lord of your life.

It was so awesome...I felt this huge weight come off my shoulders. I wanted to live. The transformation is unbelievable. Jesus made me a new person. I am forgiven.

This is a very short version of my story. I'm still in the midst of the storm, but there is a calm surrounding me named Jesus. His love has sustained me. The Joy of His presence is indescribable.

-- SSM (non-catholic follower of Jesus Christ) (, January 17, 2001.


Are you LDS now? Could you give your perspective on the questions in my Jan. 12th post?



-- Someone (, January 17, 2001.


I am a "Born Again" Christian. A Christian is one who believes that Jesus is Lord. That He paid the price for our sins, that He rose again from the dead on the third day, therefore defeating Satan forever! I am a Charasmatic, in that I believe in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that the whole Bible is TRUE. I belong to a non-demoninational Church.My Pastor preaches and teaches only the Truth. He will not water it down to please any man.

Frank, I will go back and read your post again and comment on it then. Right now I need to get to work.

Love in Christ,


-- SSM (non-catholic follower of Jesus Christ) (, January 17, 2001.


Hi, Susan. Welcome back.
Your first words were, "It's 1:00 AM and I should be sleeping ..."
When I finished reading your post, I said to myself, "Yep, she definitely should have been sleeping." (_8^D)

Reading Hebrews 8 and the "short version" of your story were interesting, but I was hoping that you would be able to respond to what I had written. But I guess that you are not able to get into that right now. OK, maybe another day, whenever you are ready.

Susan, it would be helpful for you to know that, drawing on John 3, Christians have known and taught, for almost 2,000 years, that being "born again" refers to the reception of sanctifying grace through the Sacrament of Baptism. You were "born again" when you were baptized as a baby. The pleasurable spiritual "reawakening" that you more recently experienced was something different. It was not what Jesus was discussing with Nicodemus.

You wrote, "The catholic church had good intentions when they set up their system of Baptism and Confirmation. But it doesn't mean anything if the person doesn't make that choice for themself."
That was a "slip of the tongue" for you, Susan. The Church did not "set up [a] system" of sacraments. Jesus instituted the sacraments for his Catholic Church [upper case], and they have been safeguarded and administered for almost 2,000 years. He gave the apostles and their successors, the Catholic bishops, the power to determine the proper age for a recipient of Baptism, etc..

It was interesting, but sad to read about what happened to your son. You listed all the places to which your son had gone and "worked at the mission" -- in "Mexico, France, Spain, Costa Rica" -- and this seemed to please you. But if you had been a good Catholic mother, you would have been heartbroken about this, knowing that your son was working against God's will, trying to draw good Catholic Latin-Americans into heresy. You would have been praying for his reversion to the true Church. But since you apparently had lived your whole life as a "Catholic in name only" -- without a proper support system of truly Catholic family, pastor, etc. -- you not only did not guide your son back, but you fell into heresy yourself. This brings tears to my eyes.

This is not the first time that you have stated the following, Susan: "My [pentecostal] Pastor preaches and teaches only the Truth. He will not water it down to please any man."
I assure you that, if what your pastor teaches is not identical with the Catholic faith, his teachings have become "watered down truth." And so, I would ask you, please, Susan, to answer the following questions with regard to your pastor:

1. Does he teach some doctrines that contradict Catholic doctrines? [For example, does he teach that divorce can be followed by "remarriage," that the use of contraception is OK, that "holy communion" continues to contain the substance of bread and wine, that babies cannot be baptized, etc.?]

2. Does he pretty much ignore certain subjects -- especially avoiding the Catholic doctrines about them, because he disbelieves them? [For example, does he downplay the role of Mary in Christianity? Does he ignore all or some of the seven sacraments, etc.?]

3. How can you prove to us that your pastor "teaches only the truth"? Is he a god or something like a pope to you -- and thus infallible when proclaiming doctrine? Or is he really just an ordinary human like you and me -- leaving him capable of teaching you a mixture of truth and error? [If you cannot convincingly explain how your pastor can teach "only the truth" -- your words -- then you must admit to yourself and to us that he can be wrong sometimes. And, since he can be wrong, how can you determine when he is wrong and when he is right? By your own infallible judgment?]

4. How did your pastor receive the right and power to "teach" (i.e., interpret for you) the Bible, if he was not ordained with that power by a successor of one of the apostles (laying on of hands in sacramental Holy Orders, etc.)?

5. Could you ask your pastor to let you know whether or not Mother Teresa, Eugene, Ed, Enrique, and other Catholics are eligible for heaven right now? (Remember to mention to him that we have not gone through the "born again" experience that you described.) Will Mother Teresa and the rest of us miss out on heaven because of that, being consigned to hell?

I realize that I have asked a lot, and you may not have enough time to answer all the questions. If you are pressed for time, please answer at least #3 and #5.

Thanks. God bless you.
PS: You just mentioned to Frank that "a Christian is one who believes that Jesus is Lord, that He paid the price for our sins, that He rose again from the dead on the third day ... that the Bible is the Word of God, and that the whole Bible is true." Apparently, you have not noticed the fact that satan also believes all those things. (And he not only "believes" them by faith, but knows them by experience.) Therefore, by your definition, satan is a Christian. ... But, since we all know that he is not a Christian, that tells us that your definition must be lacking something -- something that sets a true Christian apart from demons. That "something" that needs to be added to your definition is ... a commitment to OBEY God. THAT's the part that satan won't do. So how do we obey God? First we have to learn what is his will pertaining to morality. Then we have to put his will into practice. Where can we infallibly learn what his will is with respect to morality? Only from the Catholic Church. Susan, I believe that you left out that part about the necessity of obeying God, because you wrongly fear that it would imply "works-righteousness." But now you have seen that obedience is an essential part of being a Christian, since even satan qualifies as a Christian if obedience is left out of the definition.

-- J. F. Gecik (, January 17, 2001.

JFG, you said,

PS: You just mentioned ... a commitment to OBEY God. THAT's the part that satan won't do.

I've never thought of that before, but it's true.



-- Someone (, January 17, 2001.


Much obliged for your comment, Frank. It prompted me to re-read what I wrote in that "PS," and I want to expand it a bit, due to an omission.

I originally wrote: "So how do we obey God? First we have to learn what is his will pertaining to morality. Then we have to put his will into practice. Where can we infallibly learn what his will is with respect to morality? Only from the Catholic Church."

But there are two other ways in which we must be obedient to God -- (1) assiduous prayer and (2) celebration of sacraments [especially the Eucharist, in attending Mass].

And so, yes, we must believe certain things (as Susan said) ... and we must obey God's moral precepts ... and we must be immersed in prayer ... and we must make use of the sources of sanctifying grace, the sacraments. Skip any of those and you will be hard-pressed to persevere for a long time in the Christian life. It may even border on the impossible.
[Hey, guess what! I just realized that those are the four main "Parts" of the Catechism.]

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, January 17, 2001.


I read your post on Mormonism from Jan.12th. Thank you, it was very informative. I know very little about Mormons.

When I first read your question..."Are you LDS, now?", I thought you were asking if I was on LSD.ha ha. Why did you ask me that? What did I say to indicate that to you?

Is it because I mentioned that they are the fastest growing religion? I mentioned that because I hoped all Christians would pray for them to be saved .

Anyway, thanks for the Mormon info.

-- SSM (non-catholic follower of Jesus Christ) (, January 18, 2001.


When I first read your question..."Are you LDS, now?", I thought you were asking if I was on LSD.ha ha. Why did you ask me that? What did I say to indicate that to you?

First, for anyone reading who doesn't know, the "correct" way to refer to Mormons is as "LDS" (Latter Day Saints). Apparently in the past, it was insulting to call them "Mormons", although as I understand it, this isn't the case now-a-days. (but don't quote me on it ;-) )


One of the beliefs of the Mormon church is that after the apostolic age Christ's church disappeared from the Earth, and wasn't refounded until Joseph Smith re-founded it in America in the mid-1800s. When you said that you went from a being a Catholic to having found the truth (in a thread about Mormons) I assumed you meant you had converted to Mormonism. Sorry for the mistake.


-- Someone (, January 18, 2001.

Southern Baptist,

A *BIG* difference there is that both mormons and jehova's witnesses don't belive Jesus was God. JW believe he was the archangel Michael, and mormons believe that the Father and Jesus were two totally seperate beings. Care to say how this is only questionably heresy?

-- anthony (, January 18, 2001.

Hi Frank,

That's O.K. I can see where you would come to that conclusion, if you hadn't read the whole thread from the beginning. These threads tend to take off in different directions at times.But, when something is said that I don't agree with, I must address it.

Frank, I want to thank you for always keeping a civil tongue,even when you don't agree. God Bless you.


-- SSM (non-catholic follower of Jesus Christ) (, January 20, 2001.

LDS do believe Jesus was God. The BOok of Mormon states this quite a few times. Look no firther than the title page. Problem is you have too many people spreading misinformation without checking up on it. (Or anti-Mormons with an agenda.)

-- mike (, May 24, 2001.

Don't the LDS believe that Jesus is A god, rather than that he is the one and only God?
They do believe in multiple gods, correct?
They do believe that our God was once a man who became a god, right?
May the true God bless you.

-- (, May 24, 2001.


C'mon, *we* don't have the "agenda" here! Here's a two part question for you:

In Mormon belief, can our God once have been a normal man himself, and now rules our universe as God with his wife to help him, and: if you are a devout Mormon and married, do you believe that you yourself may get to have your OWN universe to rule as God yourself (with your wife, of course)?

To say that this is no different than Catholic (or any other Christian) belief is ignorant at best, and an outright lie at worst. We believe that there is only ONE God, who created everything, (as opposed to "only one God for us"), and we have NO chance of ever being Gods of our own. To the best of my knowledge, this is nothing like the Mormon belief, and it never fails to anger me when Mormons try to say the two are one and the same. (you're coming in a bit late here, so are seeing the tail end of this)

As a Christian, I was taught that the Lord God worked through TRUTH, not deception. That to me deception is the work of the Devil. Consider friend, when you have to come up with convoluted reasoning to explain things where your "truth" is coming from!


-- Someone (, May 29, 2001.

I have been reading this thread--I happened upon it because I did a search on the Mormon version of the Bible. First, let me state that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; however, I was raised fact, I was raised Catholic by a mother who spent 9 years in a convent...she is a devout Catholic, and I was very worried about what she would think when I converted to Mormonism, but she has accepted it.

Anyway, why am I here...well, as I stated, I am here because of a search I did for a Mormon Version of the in-laws are Southern Baptist, and it was they who told me that we had a different version of the Bible; however, upon talking to my mother, I found out that the Catholic church has a different version of the Bible, also. There is also the Southern Baptist church who read from the New International Version, among others.

About 4 years after I joined the Church, I was given a calling to teach 4 year olds. While reading the lessons, I realized that the teachings were contradictory to the Catholic teachings I had had...the first was that Jesus created the earth and all in it...I was disturbed by this, but upon further contemplation, I realized that what it was saying was the Jesus Christ and God were one in the same...maybe this will help answer the questions about whether or not we believe in the Trinity.

There are many differences I have found between Catholicism and is that we were never encouraged to "question" the scriptures...maybe this is because I was young and naive, but many of the Catholic friends that I have, have never "read" the Bible the way I have read it from cover to cover, AFTER I joined the Church. We read It, we contemplate It, we question It, we pray about It, and we decide for ourselves what to believe and to not believe. The other thing I have noticed is that the LDS church is very structured. We have specific "rules" that we all, for the most part, follow. The law of tithing is one. Yes, we give 10% of our income to the Church, and in the end we are blessed for that. We do it because of our faith. There are "bad" Mormons out there, but mostly we all follow what the President of our Church says, can we say the same thing for most of the members of the Catholic Church--following what the Pope says? or the Southern Baptist Church following the Southern Baptist Convention? We also believe that no one on earth has the right to judge us, that is left for our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to do. We do not believe in confession, because no one here has the right to judge us or to tell us that our sins are "bad" or "ok if we say 20 Hail Marys and Act of Contritions"

Maybe you are right about Catholics being able to determine who is Christian--if it is true that Catholocism is indeed the first Catholic religion. However, calling it a cult is not correct. There are some things that define a cult

1) A centralized form of leadership that rules with unquestioned authority

2) A body of convictions, beliefs, and practices set forth boldly as "the truth"

3) A compelling presentation of the group vision to prospects that is inviting and challenging

4) A series of manipulative socializing sessions to instill psychological dependence on the group

5) A definable process of group dynamics used to unethically control and manipulate members

6) A history of abuses of authority by group leaders freely using deception and fear tactics

7) A history of psychological and spiritual abuses of group members that destroy lives

8) A cult must be younger than 75 years....

If this last one wasn't here, I would wonder if most religions were cults :)

The LDS Church does not fit into any of these catergories...calling it heretical, or going away from the Catholic Church is correct, as it is correct to say ALL relgions, other than Catholicism, are heretical!!!

My question, is, why does it truly matter? Being good far outweighs what church you belong to, doesn't it? In the end, whoever is wrong will be judged accordingly, don't you think? Do WE have the right to judge anyone here?

M. Gray

-- M. Gray (, June 20, 2001.

Whatever happened to SSM, anyways?

-- jackiea (, June 21, 2001.

The Bible asks that we lean not unto our own understanding. We should ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in all matters, especially those of a spiritual nature.

We are saved unto the Lord by His grace alone, but faith without works is dead. Therefore we should practice what we preach, AND preach what we practice. All lies we encounter will be revealed to us by living in this manner, and praying for the understanding that can only be attained through the power of the Holy Spirit.

BTW. I am a heritic to the Catholic Church, as I am a Lutheran. I must say that this is an interesting that has yielded much fruit and fire in many different directions. I just ask that we all good Christians attempt to speak and write with the Holy Spirit in their hearts and minds. We are ALL Gods children! He wants us all to be with Him in Heaven. And only He will decide if we get there or not.

I ask that we all pray in our own way. I know that when I pray to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, He is is listening and will work in His own way in each of our lives. This is the very best that I personally can do for anyone: Turn it over to HIM!

As for our personal differences in faith and belief, that is all they are, personal, human, sinfull, differences. If we get past that, and move on, we will all be richer in spirit.

May the Grace, and Love of the Lord be with you all. Erik Toft

-- Erik Toft (, July 05, 2001.


I agree with the first part of your post, where you state that we are saved by the Lord's grace. However the second part,

As for our personal differences in faith and belief, that is all they are, personal, human, sinfull, differences. If we get past that, and move on, we will all be richer in spirit.

I have some trouble with. I think the one thing about having ANY Christian faith (not Mormon though) is the belief that after we die at some point we will be judged and sent permanenly to either Heaven or Hell, with no middle ground. Therefore, there *is* a right and a wrong way to go about things, one way pleasing to God, and one way not so.

My problem with your statement is that you seem to be implying that all brands of faith are the same, whereas as a Catholic, it is hard to believe that preachers turning their backs on Jesus' commandments and saying Jesus meant for people to do the opposite is pleasing to God.

IOW, if your child was saying 2+2=5 you'd correct them right? You wouldn't just say "great son, all answers are correct". Why then would you not feel the same desire to correct someone's error when you felt they might be placing their soul in Jeopardy by continuing their course of action? If you love someone, wouldn't you consider this a more important subject to correct someone on than their math?


-- Someone (, July 06, 2001.

On the contrary. I too believe as you. I was merely stating that if we all pray in our own way, we will see (in the end) whose prayers are answered. We ARE all Gods children and he wants to have everyone of us with him in heaven. If we all pray that God would allow his Spirit to specifically touch the other members of this discussion, he will answer that prayer.

Then at the point of intervention by the Holy Spirit, it is up to the individual to exercise his or her own free will to either accept or reject the Truth being offered. After accepting Christ as your Savior, the Truth will come to you through the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit will guide you when you pray for guidance and will protect you when you are caught off guard...when you do not pray for guidance, it usually comes from an entirely unholy spirit.

I just feel that our core beliefs are so strongly held that no amount of human discussion, and argument is going to win anyone to the Truth unless the Holy Spirit is also at work. We can and should present a perfect case for Christ, and it is often better to lead by example, and point the way rather than to push, pull and prod. The problem is that, since we are human and sinfull, the example we give is all too often lacking His luster. Pray that the good examples get noticed, and let others know that you are praying for and/or with them for the souls of all.

As far as works go, I still feel that our solemn silent prayers are the best work we can do for Him and for those for whom we pray. If more is needed, the His Spirit will guide us.

He loves us all, and wants us to love one another enough to ask that all of us believe in Him. But, make no mistake about this, I know that Christ is the only way to salvation. I believe that we are judged immediately at the time of death and that we do go to heaven or hell...there is no middle ground.

I am sorry for being ambiguous in any way in this or the previous post. Does this better clarify my thoughts?

Erik T.

-- Erik Toft (, July 06, 2001.

Oops. I forgot to make one point. When I wrote

"As for our personal differences in faith and belief, that is all they are, personal, human, sinfull, differences."

I was meaning differences between Christian denominations. We should all act as agents of Christ, and brothers in His family. We should offer correction to others, but as with my daughter's math homework, I don't come right out and give her the answer...that is cheating, and the child learns nothing. It is better to lead the student to the proper source of information, and show them how the answer is derived, providing proof when and where necessary. If no effort is put forth, nothing will be learned. After effort is put forth, if mistakes have been made, correction is in order.

Now let me say that that works, when you are dealing with someone new to the faith (or math). It is a bit more difficult with someone who has grown into a belief system. That is why I say that prayer is often the most effective first approach. Flaming and arguing on the net is not an effective approach at any just sets the opposing parties that much further appart, and more deeply entrenched than before. This is what happened with some of the people who were in this group...they are gone now, and don't disrupt the comfort level of the group...but they are gone forever. You usually don't get a second chance when that happens, and another soul may truly burn for it. That is very sad.

Erik T.

-- Erik Toft (, July 06, 2001.

You aren't addressing me, so I hope you'll pardon my intrusion. Let me say, it's obvious your heart's in the right place.

But, when you're right, you're right. When you are wrong --you're wrong, that's all.

This part of your message:


''As for our personal differences in faith and belief, that is all they are, personal, human, sinfull, differences. I was meaning differences between Christian denominations--''This is fencing with words. The truth is not just true for sinless, human people. It's true period. If you sincerely believe an untruth, you must ultimately give it up or never know the TRUTH.

There is no denomination known as the Catholic faith. There's the Church that Christ founded, and all the rest are denominations. In fact, these denominations are where personal, human, sinful disagreements and errors abound. The Catholic Church is not in a position to lower the truth bar for them. Either they are for it, or against it. Does this mean that all the faithful to these erroneous doctrines and biblical conclusions are damned?

No, not necessarily. But they are still wrong; you are still wrong. You say ''I believe we are judged immediately at the time of death and that we do go to heaven or hell...there is no middle ground. That is an error; your belief can't make it the truth. Just a minor example. Will you be damned? Not for that. But for rejecting the Gospel as it is preached by Christ's Apostles, and as the Church was authorized to teach it? Maybe; assuming you reject it out of pride and disregard for the truth. Recall the Word of God: ''This is a stiff-necked people,'' and ask yourself: Does that fit my description? God be with you-- Peace, Erik!

-- eugene c. chavez (, July 06, 2001.


No intrusion was committed, and no pardon is necessary.

I do not understand when you seem to accuse me of "rejecting the Gospel as it is preached by Christ's Apostles, and as the Church was authorized to teach it?" I do not reject the Gospel, I embrace it. I thought I was clear in that...if not please pardon me.

I believe that we (all true Christians...that's you me and others) are all children and deciples of Christ. We live by His name, and will pass on to the glory of heaven through in His boundless Grace.

You are correct when you say..."There is no denomination known as the Catholic faith." The truth of the matter is that Christ established his Church with the Apostles, and they evangelized and passed his church on to all who would had ears to hear. They asked all to spread the word, as they knew that they could not evangelize the entire world themselves. But the Church is not one group. It exists as a body of believers in the Gospel...people like you an me. Some believe that adhering to the organization, political structure and traditions, that have been put in place (by men) to support the Church's evangalistic mission is the only way to be a Christian. That is not true. We are His through belief in Christ alone. Our works as Christians are the evidence of His Holy Spirit working in us.

As far as the idea of purgatory goes, I was not questioning it. I was just saying that I too believe that we are judged after dying...I just believe it happens sooner rather than later. I do not however believe that any amount of human intercession can relieve any of your sin debt...only Christ can do that, and He already has by dying on the cross. Yes I will remain stiff necked on that one. (grin) I do not believe that either one of us will be prevented from reaching heaven due to his belief or non-belief in purgatory.

The Gospel tells us that Christ paid the price for us on the cross, and there is nothing that we can do to earn his forgiveness except to believe in, love and obey, Him.

To everyone in general: I came here because I wanted to know more about what Mormons believe, so that I can intellegently answer and ask questions. I did not know it was a Catholic group untill I read down into the comments and rebuttals after the first posting. I enjoy discussing my beliefs with others and learning about theirs in an attempt to help spread the word of Christ to unbelievers and the unfaithful. Thank you for debating me, and making me think about my beliefs. I always love to learn more about Him and about my brothers and sisters in Him.

May His Grace be with us all. Erik Toft

-- Erik Toft (, July 06, 2001.

Dear Erik,
First I'm anxious to say, you have every right to your own belief. No one has a right to belittle you for them, even if, as I do, they think you've departed from the teachings of the Apostles.

I did not accuse you of rejecting (as such) the Gospel. I said you might not be damned for an external fault, like not accepting Purgatory, misinformation being the reason; but only damned SHOULD you reject the Gospel, or fail because of pride or intransigence to accept the truth. I don't think you are.

I think myself, you could not be damned for rejecting the Catholic religion, if this was because you were TAUGHT to believe it was false.

It would be due to ignorance, and you would not be to blame. You have access to that truth here, for starters. Keep contributing.

Where your soul really is in danger for lacking the Catholic faith, is the relative remoteness it places between you and GRACE, which is necessary for our salvation. You posit just faith in Christ's sacrifice; as ACCOMPLISHED and sufficient, with only your acceptance required. But this is a departure from the Apostle's teaching. St. Paul clearly states --to the faithful --''Work out your salvation in fear and trembling.'' You avail yourself of Christ's free gift not by a passive presumption on Him; but by obeying all His commands.

In our Catholic faith, there is the implied and accepted RESPONSIBILITY to Christ, with the Church as the safe sheepfold under one Pastor. I don't want to run on forever; enough. Thanks for the response!

-- eugene c. chavez (, July 07, 2001.


Thanks for the post, I see what you're saying, but I still feel we have an area of disagreement. You said,

As far as works go, I still feel that our solemn silent prayers are the best work we can do for Him and for those for whom we pray. If more is needed, the His Spirit will guide us.

To me Christ calls us not to sit alone, but to be a *community*. As in Matthew 18 where He says,

"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." The part that's good about being a functional part of a church, is there is someone around to correct us when we stray. Someone who predominately prays by themselves MAY be perfectly in touch with God, but IF they start erring, who would halt their downward spiral? You also said,

but as with my daughter's math homework, I don't come right out and give her the answer...that is cheating, and the child learns nothing. It is better to lead the student to the proper source of information, and show them how the answer is derived, providing proof when and where necessary. If no effort is put forth, nothing will be learned. After effort is put forth, if mistakes have been made, correction is in order.

This is *exactly* what I mean! You are acting in community with your daughter to help her, not just saying "here's the book, learn the proper way by yourself". (As a side note, I try to do the same thing with my kids, even though it ends up being more work for me than them, and I agree it's more effective).

Flaming and arguing on the net is not an effective approach at any just sets the opposing parties that much further appart, and more deeply entrenched than before. This is what happened with some of the people who were in this group...they are gone now, and don't disrupt the comfort level of the group...but they are gone forever. You usually don't get a second chance when that happens, and another soul may truly burn for it. That is very sad.

I agree that flames don't solve anything, and that losing anyone who is sincerely looking for Christ would be a truly sad event. Perhaps even one we'd be held accountable for... Hopefully, there aren't too many of these, and as a forum we can develop a more Christlike character if this is a problem.



-- Someone (, July 07, 2001.

Dear Frank:

I heartily agree that uniting as a community is VERY important. We should learn from each other, and pray together with our brothers in Christ. I was just saying that prayer is sometimes the best way to effect a change in the life of another. BTW I do not think that we can go astray by asking God to send his Holy Spirit into someones life. Also, I often do not think of the things which need to be lifted up to God when I am in when they come to me, I ask for His strength to resolve the situation.

I hope that I did not offend you in my description of "the math lesson". I was merely overstating the obvious to make a point...I was not trying to say that you do anything to help your kids cheat. BTW I agree that helping with homework IS tougher for the parent...They are teaching math entirely different now from how I learned it.

Dear Eugene:

Yes, we must "work out [our] salvation in fear and trembling." I strongly agree.

There is no "passive presumption" by me. In fact, there is ever so much more of an active reliance. "Trust in the Lord for He is good, and His mercy endures forever." Now there are words to live by. I am reproved and convicted for any wrong doing on a daily basis. When I turn wrongfull things over to Him, It is His strength that permits me to abstain from that wrongdoing in the future. And it is His mercy which lifts me back up when I fall.

I believe that there is an "implied and accepted RESPONSIBILITY to Christ" (or at least it should be) by anyone who calls themselves Christian. That is why this group was started...Are Mormons Christian? We believe not, because they do not rely on the Gospel, but have many additional texts which they proclaim to be "The fullness of the gospel". We adhere to the fact that the Bible alone contains "the fullness of the Gospel" anything else is blasphemous.

I too believe that we Christians have one pastor, Jesus Christ. We should live by and for Him. We do not believe that any human can take his place in any way, but that the Holy Spirit, alive and present in all true Christians, is at work to bring his power to us. This is taught to us in the Gospel and actively demonstrated in Baptisim, Confirmation, and Holy Communion.

May the Holy Spirit of God live in us all,

Erik Toft

-- Erik Toft (, July 09, 2001.


Hello, Erik
You wrote that you "believe that we Christians have one pastor, Jesus Christ. ... We do not believe that any human can take his place in any way ..."

This is not really an accurate expression of what Christians have believed through the ages. Yes, Jesus is the Good Shepherd ("one flock, one shepherd"), and only he can do certain things. However, because he was ascending to the Father, he appointed "deputy" shepherds (apostles/now Catholic bishops) and a "chief deputy" shepherd (his vicar on earth, St. Peter/now successor popes). These men indeed are given the power and authority to "take his place" in certain ways, as long as he is not visibly present among us.

What I have just stated can be known from Sacred Tradition and from the following New Testament passages:

John 21 -- 15: When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."
16: A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."
17: He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.

1 Peter 5 -- 1: So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed.
2: Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly,
3: not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock.
4: And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.

Acts 20 -- 28: Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.
29: I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; ...
31: Therefore be alert...

God bless you.

-- (, July 09, 2001.

This is something you haven't learned from the Holy Bible; yet you claim it's a fact:

'' We adhere to the fact that the Bible alone contains "the fullness of the Gospel" anything else is blasphemous. ''

You aren't adhering to any such fact. It's a fiction.

Why, if the Church had not been founded and indwelt by Our Lord, only a written record of His Gospel would have been there. But It was founded by Christ, and has served Him for two millennia.

If you believe all that the Church has given this world other than the Book is blasphemy, you must back it up from the scriptures. Please explain where you've learned this?

-- eugene c. chavez (, July 09, 2001.

Dear Eugene:

Please. You misrepresent me. I said that the Bible contains the fullness of the Gospel...not all that is good and to the glory of God. The Gospel is that Christ came to earth in human form, suffered, died and was burried, and on the third day was raised from the dead. He did all of this to purchase our souls unto Him, God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That is the Gospel and its account is written in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The rest of the New Testament are the divinely inspired teachings of His early Church. How do you feel that this is not the Truth? Do you feel that the Book of Mormon is a true 3rd Testament to Christ? (BTW That is a rhetorical question...I am assured that you do not.)

The Lord told the apostles to go and make deciples of ALL nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit...therefore, are not all that believe and are baptized deciples of Christ?

He also made it clear that none of the Apostles, including Peter, were to consider themselves to be of any greater power or influence than the rest. All of us, as Christians, are diciples of Christ, and should share equally the responsibility of sharing the Gospel with others.

John: Yes, those of us who have grown in our faith should become elders and teachers so that others may also grow in faith, love, and understanding of Christ but again we should do as Christ commanded the first apostles. In Luke 22:26 He says, "he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." In 31 and 32 He tells Simon (Peter) that he will be strong in faith and he will strengthen his brothers. And in 34 and 35 he tells Simon that he will 3 times deny Christ. He does this to teach us that even those strong in faith will falter, and need both the assistance of his brothers in the Church, and the Grace and Mercy of Christ...even the man whom Christ most loved. No one is above anyone else in the eyes of our God, and no one is visible to His sight except through the Grace and Mercy of Christ. There are other examples in the Bible, and a great deal of early Church history that backs this up. I just need the time to present it...I don't have the time at present...I will make time soon.

Till we meet in person or spirit, stay with Him.

Erik Toft

-- Erik Toft (, July 09, 2001.


No, you did not offend me at all in your math lesson scenario. I only brought it up to try and reinforce my point of the importance of community. Neither am I trying to slight the power of private prayer, which I also strongly believe in!!

BTW I do not think that we can go astray by asking God to send his Holy Spirit into someones life

Me either, the more times we ask, the better :-)

I don't know why I keep nit-picking at you about these things Erik, but have patience. I do have one more disagreement with you recent post, you said,

We adhere to the fact that the Bible alone contains "the fullness of the Gospel" anything else is blasphemous.

I must disagree here if your intent is to say the Bible contains all and the *only* truth. Catholics believe sacred Tradition is also another form of the Truth of Christ's church, and this is supported by scripture. If a Catholic were to *only* read the Bible, IMO they would seriously be in err. (Others with comments on this, I'd like to hear them) Also, the Bible itself does not claim to be an all- inclusive work for salvation. This is why I feel so strongly about community, as without belonging to Christ's church, where would one find the proper Traditions to follow?


-- Someone (, July 09, 2001.


Your words to Erik about Tradition are absolutely correct. (You invited others' comments.)

Please glance at your response to me (above). I'm a bit confused. Are you suggesting that Christian leaders (whom you referred to as "elders" and "teachers") were not intended by Christ to exercise genuine authority, as substitute shepherds, over the flock?
I think that the quotations I have already given -- and many more that could be given, both from the Bible and from early Church history -- show that an anti-authority position cannot stand up to scrutiny.

Yes, "lording it over" others is against Christ's will. Yes, humility must be shown by leaders. But, no, we Christians (lay and clergy) are not simply all equal in authority.
[Pardon me if you were actually trying to make a different point.]

God bless you.

-- (, July 09, 2001.

Boy I have stirred you folks up. I just can't seem to stop stepping on toes (grin). But truly I do not mean to offend only to discuss and learn.

A quick side note: Does anyone else find it difficult to write feeling and emotion into e-mail? I sure do. Smileys (or emoticons as some call them) seem to incincere to me, so I write in things like (grin) or (grumpy)...I hope no one minds.

I must say that I will stubbornly defend the Authority of the Bible as the inspired word of God. I pray that the Holy Spirit guide me in my understanding, and lead me to teachers and elders and Biblical scholars from many denominations and the Catholic Church (didn't want to offend Eugene again) to grow in my Christian faith and education.

II Timothy 2:7 "Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything."

John, you quote I Peter 5:1 "So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder...shepherd the flock of God". Does this not show that the eldership and authority of the Church is being passed by Peter to others thereby expanding and growing His Church? If he were the sole authority, would he have entrusted such an important task to others if they might be in error or error in the future? I think not. We must trust, as did Peter, in the Holy Spirit to keep and protect His Church.

Did not Christ himself say that His Church exists wherever 2 or more is gathered in his name? By asking Christ to be present in our company, by the power of the Spirit, we are divinely protected from erroneous teaching...if such error is espoused by any member of the group then they will be corrected through the Holy Spirit in the group, or at some later time. Other members of the group, innocently listening to the espoused error will be protected so that the error will not take root in their mind. Entering into any dialog concerning faith without praying for the presence of the spirit places you on very dangerous ground.

In II Timothy 4:17 and 18 we find Paul has recently been left alone and imprisoned, with no one to back him in his teaching, and no one to lean on for support...He writes to Timothy: "(17)But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, in order that through me the proclaimation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the lion's mouth. (18) The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen"

I must close for now. I started late, and it is now 1:00 am. Please forgive any incomplete thoughts. I got wrapped up in the Scripture and failed to get back to writing.

"To Him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen"

Erik Toft

-- Erik Toft (, July 10, 2001.

I must say you are quite intelligent and well-informed, and a true lover of Jesus Christ. I wish more Catholics were as fervent in their faith as you are in yours. If I can't give you full deference in some of your views, it isn't because I don't respect you.

Now, you back up some of these with quotations from the epistles. I have to remind you these were letters that the Church preserved and eventually defined as the inspired Word of God, and no one in our forum is ever going to dispute that. However, let's face one fact: at the time of their publishing, no other Church existed on earth but the Church of the Apostles; and that's the Catholic Church under Peter, the first Pope. (I realize that will bother you a little.) So, all the epistles were intended as Catholic reading; messages from bishops and elders (priests) to the faithful. Timothy was a bishop of the Church, Erik.

You said ''I will stubbornly defend the Authority of the Bible as the inspired word of God. I pray that the Holy Spirit guide me in my understanding, and lead me to teachers and elders and Biblical scholars from many denominations and the Catholic Church''. And there is the problem, Erik. The first Church still exists.

All other denominations are basically superfluous for the preaching and spreading of the Gospel. It hurts me to have to say it, but the Bible was not given to all those diverse sects; it was orally and scripturally a Catholic revelation, and the Apostles, bishops, elders, presbyters, whatever you choose to translate them into-- were in the same Church. That's in fact the way Christ meant it saying, ''Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am.'' Centuries later, the separations that took place in the One Church have resulted in no such unity. There are many diverse and disputed teachings being spread in the world claiming to come from that same authority. And Jesus taught us a house divided against itself cannot stand.

To me that means these denominations can't be part of the Church that will live to the end of time. Only the Catholic Church will. I am fervently hoping for reunion in the coming years, so all believers can meet the challenges of the last tribulations, and persevere in the faith. When Christ returns His Holy Bride the Church will once again be the only Christian Church. Just as when He sent her into the world to save souls. All glory and honor be His! Amen.

-- eugene c. chavez (, July 10, 2001.


Don't worry, Erik. You have been too nice a guy for us to get mad at you -- yet. (Humongous grin)

Well, you didn't directly answer my question about the authority of Church leaders, but I can read between the lines and see that you reject it. I fear that, whenever a verse that demonstrates that authority is presented to you, you will deceive yourself by misinterpreting it into nothingness. That in itself is a potent argument against "sola scriptura." The simple fact is that an ordinary Christian, reading the Bible on his own, without an infallible guide to help his interpretation (i.e., the Catholic magisterium), will arrive at a multitude of misunderstandings, will develop a deficient and/or erroneous creed, and will begin to follow a flawed moral code.

You wrote:
"I Peter 5:1 'So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder ... shepherd the flock of God.' Does this not show that the eldership and authority of the Church is being passed by Peter to others thereby expanding and growing His Church? If he were the sole authority, would he have entrusted such an important task to others if they might be in error or error in the future? "
No, Erik, it does not show a "passing" or "entrusting" of St. Peter's authority. It shows an exhortation or reminder to his fellow clergymen of the authority they were given by Jesus. You are much mistaken, Erik, if you think that Catholics believe that only the pope has authority. No. The successors of all the apostles (i.e., the Catholic bishops) have great authority over their local churches ("dioceses"). The bishops in turn delegate much authority to parish priests.

You continued: "Did not Christ himself say that His Church exists wherever 2 or more is gathered in his name?"
No. You are mistaken. He did not mention his Church in that context ... "Matthew 18:20 -- For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

You continued: "By asking Christ to be present in our company, by the power of the Spirit, we are divinely protected from erroneous teaching ... if such error is espoused by any member of the group then they will be corrected through the Holy Spirit in the group, or at some later time. Other members of the group, innocently listening to the espoused error will be protected so that the error will not take root in their mind."
Pardon my bluntness, Erik, but if you really believe this, you are terribly naive and unobservant. If what you say is true, then Protestantism, begun in the early 1500s, would not have fragmented into over 30,000 different denominations, as it has. The Holy Spirit would have prevented that, if you were right in your assumptions. But the truth is that when two or three have gathered, all too often they have invented yet another denomination, due to dissatisfaction with all the other ones they know. Because they are sinners, selfish and prideful, many of these groups of two and three who have gathered together have NOT been "divinely protected from erroneous teaching," but themselves have developed bad teachings (through their unguided, private biblical misinterpretations).

St. James, pray for us.
God bless you.

-- (, July 10, 2001.

A fine response to Erik's questions, John--
From time to time we have non-Catholic scholars here attempting to refute the plain fact Jesus was conferring to Simon Peter authority and primacy in His Church (Matt, 16: 18-19) as He changed Simon's name to Peter, or Rock.

With incredible obstinacy they cling to the idea Jesus called ''Rock'' not the name of this apostle, but the faith of Peter. Notwithstanding the obvious fact that the apostle went by the name ROCK, or Peter, for the rest of his life! Oh, well-- Peter means ''little'' Rock, not the ROCK on which the Church of Jesus Christ would be built! (Sure!)

But isn't it a fact, too, that despite storms and controversies and betrayals, the Church is still bringing souls to Christ 2,000 years after? Isn't it in fact built upon ROCK and immovable?

Yes, and wasn't it in the bark of Peter, out in the storm at sea-- that Our Lord slept as the winds and the waves threatened to overturn them and they cried to Him, ''Master! Doesn't it concern Thee that we are perishing?'' Everybody on board was panic-stricken, and yet Jesus ''rebuked the wind, and said to the sea-- Peace, be still! And the wind fell, and there came a great calm.'' Peter's boat!

All the Fathers saw this miraculous incident, completely biblical--the Word of God (Mark 4, 37-40) --as a figure of the Catholic Church; riding out the storms of this world. Why? Because Peter is under Jesus' personal protection through the Holy Spirit. His bark is never going to be sunk, no matter how powerful the forces of heaven and earth may be.

Holy Lord, in your infinite love and mercy bless and protect our Holy Father John Paul II, your trusted servant. All honor and glory is Thine, Jesus Christ! Amen.

-- eugene c. chavez (, July 11, 2001.


Thanks, Gene.

It's always good to let those who drag out the old petra/petros canard that it is 100% bogus. Why? Two reasons ...

(1) Greek language scholars have determined that, by the first century A.D., the two words were used interchangeably to refer to "big rock" (not one word to "rock" and the other word to "small stone"). The Greek Gospel of Matthew shows the name "petros" [masculine gender noun] being given to Simon, because "petra" [feminine gender noun] would have been insulting, not because a distinction in meaning was intended.

(2) Vastly more significant ... Jesus and his apostles spoke Aramaic, and St. Matthew wrote his gospel in that language or Hebrew (according to ancient Christian historians). Therefore, what Jesus actually said at Caesarea Philippi was, "You are KEFA, and upon this KEFA I will build my church." The word "kefa" was "rock" in Aramaic, and there were NOT two forms (masculine/feminine). Consequently, the whole petra/petros debate -- a red herring -- goes right down the drain. Oh, and how do we know that Jesus said, "You are KEFA ..."? When Jesus first saw Simon, he said, "You will be called KEFA ['Cephas,' when transliterated into Greek]," as recorded at John 1:42. And, indeed, he WAS called KEFA, as recorded at Matthew 16:18.

God bless you.

-- (, July 11, 2001.

I am truly sorry. Time has not permitted me to get back to you, and again it is short. I will continue in this discussion, this time in short, by saying that I don't think we are as far apart as my last post leads one to think. I was tired, and probably should have refrained from posting such an incomplete set of statements.

I will be back with you soon, and again, I am sorry for my poor judgement in the last post.

Erik Toft

-- Erik Toft (, July 12, 2001.


Take your time, God willing, we'll still be here.


-- Someone (, July 12, 2001.

Yes, Mormons are Christian. So long as one's beliefs are centered around Christ and his life, shouldn't one be considered Christian? Mormons consider Christ to be the Only Begotten Son of God, but no, not God himself. Saying, however, that because mormons do not believe in a trinity in which there are three beings in one means that they are not Christian is close-minded. THey believe in the same Christ as other denominations. He is one in goal with God. Using various scriptures from the Book of Mormon that supposedly contradict each other is not a very convincing piece of evidence. The scriptures regarding the trinity are very ambiguous, and one could easily find two "contradicting" scriptures in the Bible. A Christian is one who strives to become like Christ. In this regard, yes, Mormons are Christians.

-- Cara (, April 23, 2002.


Mormons consider Christ to be the Only Begotten Son of God

Don't you also consider Satan Jesus' spirit-brother? I thought Mormon theology had Christ the first conceived, and Satan the second. This is at odds with Christianity. I also wonder what you mean by "begotten", as I remember reading that Brigham Young taught that God came down (or would it be "came over" if He's living on the Planet Kolob as we speak?) and had physical intercourse with Mary! How could you worship a God who would do that to his own daughter? Oh yeah, another thing that makes Mormons non-Christian is that they believe our God was once a man who became God, and that there (may be) millions of other Gods out there. The fact that you say one thing but mean another seems to me to be straight from the Devil (or in Mormon belief, straight from Jesus spirit-sibling)


P.S. I understand pride, and your desire to become a God (or God's wife) yourself, but that is NOT what Christians believe our fate is! Rather that is the desire of Satan passed down to you from Moroni.

-- Someone (, April 23, 2002.

You know what, I thought of the best response (for me) yet. Mormons don't recognize other religions' baptisms, and now the Catholic Church doesn't recognize the baptism of someone baptised into Mormonism, although she DOES recognize the baptisms of (as far as I know) that of all other major Christian chruches.

So the answer is no, Mormons do not have enough in common with other churches to be considered Christian.


-- Someone (, April 23, 2002.

The mormon religion uses to this day the ceremonies of the Masons in their Temples which was instituted by Joseph Smith who earlier was a member of the Lodge. The mormons are considered to be "cult" status. The Bible is actually secondary to the Book of Mormon and other mormon books and the writings of the Bible are greatly distorted by the Mormon books.

Also the Mormons do believe that the Black race are a direct lineage of Cain who killed Abel and the Black skin is the sign of Cain's sin which is the mark God made on Cain. This fact is heavily denied by Mormons, yet is written in their Book of Mormon. Yes it has been modified many times over to try to get more to join their ranks. Even to the point of discrediting teachings by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and many other Mormon teachers. This continues to the present day.

The Mormon Bible has also been re-written in attempts to make it match the words used in the Book of Mormon.

Also in grave and well proven error in DNA studies as well is the belief of the Mormons of the fact that the American Indians were the Jews who escaped the Middle East in Barrels to these shores and they were the original Mormons. The Book of Mormon is full of contrived stories by Joseph Smith that are more humor than truth.

This is only a fragment of the Mormon practices which there are many that contradict the norms of Christianity.

Thanks be to GOD, as Catholics, we still have the truth of the true Apostles. AMEN.

-- Fred Bishop (, April 23, 2002.

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